• Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cooking Time: 60 mins
  • Serves: 6

Best-Ever Baked Ziti

  • Recipe Submitted by on

 Ingredients List

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 celery stalks chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 large carrot peeled and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage casings removed
  • 1/2 lb hot Italian sausage casings removed
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 5 cups fresh marinara sauce
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 16 oz quality ricotta cheese
  • 16 oz quality mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese finely shredded
  • 1 lb dried ziti
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped


Make the marinara sauce and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook until soft, about 7 - 10 minutes.
Crumble the sausage with your hands into the pot and then add the beef. Cook until almost no longer pink.
Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each.
At this point, if too much grease has rendered, you can drain it off.
Add the wine and cook until liquid is almost all gone, about 4 - 5 minutes.
Add the marinara and tomato paste and simmer for 1 hour.
Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Set aside until ready to assemble dish.

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Cook the ziti according to package instructions for al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a large baking dish, ladle a thin layer of the meat sauce on the bottom of the dish.
Add a layer of cooked ziti.
Top with dollops of ricotta and then about 3/4 cup of mozzarella.
Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of Parmesan on top of that.
Repeat this process again.
Top with a handful of pasta, then another cup of the sauce, a 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, and another 1/4 of Parmesan on top.
Baked, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes, until lightly browned on top and bubbly.
Garnish with chopped parsley.

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